There has been a lot of talk on various media recently about the “War on Drugs”. A lot of people seem to think we need to give up this idea as a quaint relic of the past. An idealist, utopian bridge to nowhere, if you will. A friend of a friend said recently on a Facebook discussion on the subject that framing anything as a war “immediately dictates a mindset and limits the approaches you might try.”
Though this concern is sensible, having devoted myself to living out the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita I cannot agree completely. Legality and dharma are two different things. It is my feeling that we can make certain drugs legal in order to alleviate violence throughout the country, and overcrowding in prisons but at the same time continue to fight the war against abuse of foul substances which cut our ties with That which we really are and are meant to be.
What drugs are to be made legal and which really should be illegal is another debate altogether, so I don’t want to get into that debate.
So legally, sure let’s lay down our arms and stop this pointless war which only leads to more violence and karmic residue which is to our disadvantage in the end. But when it comes to dharma, we, I think, owe it to each other to fight against the continuation of any practice which leads us to self-delusion, degradation, self-destruction, and rebirth in all sorts of foul circumstances and forms. Why would we not fight that? It is one of the main purposes of life to free oneself from the delusion that the world of substance and form is the REAL. It is the purpose of life to come to the realization that the Self is what is Eternal. It is as simple as that. So really it depends on what form we decide to take with this “war” but it must be fought. Saying whatever will be will be, we can accrue just as negative karma by inaction as Krishna makes very clear to Arjuna. Imagine if Arjuna had let the Kauravas have their way. We can choose to be limited in our approach. That is up to us. But if we choose not to be, we can fight all forms of delusion with an open, detached Mind.